tv [untitled] February 22, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
meeting of the national governors association. our live coverage picks up on saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern with the opening news conference. we'll also show you a discussion on growing state economies. sunday our coverage starts at 9:30 a.m. eastern with a look at education and early childhood issues. the nation's governors will also talk about hunger and the changing role of the national guard. and we'll wrap things up on monday at 9:00 a.m. eastern with the closing session featuring nga president dave hideamman, nebraska's governor. >> this is c-span3 with politics and public affairs programming throughout the week. and every weekend, 48 hours of people and events telling the american story on "american history tv." get our schedules and see past programs at our websites. and you can join in the conversation on social media sites.
now to the virginia state capitol in richmond where governor bob mcdonnell delivered his third state of the commonwealth address in mid-january. this is about 50 minutes. >> thank you. thank you. you've obviously come back well-rested. mr. speaker, mr. president, justices of the supreme court of virginia, judges of the state corporation commission, ladies and gentlemen of the general assembly, my fellow virginians,
good evening. it's both my duty and my privilege to join you tonight on the set of steven spielberg's epic feature film. "lincoln." for the annual state of the commonwealth address. i hope it's all right with everyone because i invited some of your neighbors tonight. the first lady and four of the mcdonnell children and my new son-in-law are here with us in the gallery. now, i think this is my 21st state of the commonwealth speech. only the third that i've delivered. and this is always a very special night. when all three branches of government are gathered in a building designed by thomas jefferson, from which for
centuries ideas promoting liberty and opportunity have sprung. i want to congratulate all of you knewly elected men and women to the general assembly. and also the new leaders elected in each caucus today. thank you for your service to the people of virginia and i also want to thank all the families and spouses of these newly elected members because they're in it with you as well. i also want to commend the members of the virginia senate, particularly the members of the democratic party, for the passionate yet statesman like debate you conducted on organizational matters in the virginia senate today. thank you. over these past two years, we've shown that while we hail from diverse regions, we align with different political parties, and subscribe to competing philosophies, we can still come together to make progress on the issues most important to the 8 million people that we serve.
ladies and gentlemen, that has been and must forever remain the virginia way. because it works. this session we must remember that while seating charts and committee assignments have changed, the virginia way cannot. so to the members of the majority tonight, i say to you, don't be arrogant. don't overreach. to the members of the minority party i say, don't be angry. don't obstruct. and to all of us, including the executive branch, i say, let's be civil and let's be productive. now, we're blessed to live in a commonwealth with an unemployment rate that's the lowest in all the southeast. we're the best state in america for business. we have the nation's best public university system. and over these years we have weathered the economic storms better than most states. i think we owe the success to a number of factors.
we've kept taxes low, regulation and litigation to a minimum. and we made prudent and wise investments in economic development, in education, in transportation, and in our people. but perhaps more importantly, we have found a way daily to rise above the partisan sniping of politics to solve problems and get results. and our representative democracy has stood the test of time as the most effective and the most fair form of government on all the planet. america was born on the banks of the james river. from virginia came four of the first five presidents. eight in all. the author of the declaration of independence. the fathers of the constitution. governor patrick henry, first governor of the virginia, attended the laying of the cornerstone of this building in
1785. and yet, 205 years later, this same capitol welcomed l. douglas wilder as governor of virginia, the first african-american governor in the country. the early leaders who guided this young republic through its infancy and into the mature global power that we are today came from here in virginia. now it is our collective duty to lead this great republic into a prosperous future. and i say to you, i think that virginians are ready. every day they show their exceptional character. a few of those exceptional virginians have joined us tonight. on december 8th, we were all reminded of the daily peril faced by our law enforcement officers in the state. on that day, virginia tech police officer derek kraus was at work protecting the students and faculty, including my
daughter who's at virginia tech. during a routine traffic stop, derek kraus was shot and killed. derek was an iraq war veteran. he was a son, a husband, and a father of five. derek was a hero. derek as wife tina is here with us tonight. and tina, i want to say on behalf of a grateful commonwealth, we pledge to you that derek easily great sacrifice will never be forgotten.
at almost that exact same time of that tragedy in blacksburg, another military veteran turned law enforcement officer was facing a similar situation in caroline county. after detaining a suspect found along i-95, senior virginia state trooper michael hammer had placed that suspect in his car when suddenly the individual grabbed for trooper hammer's weapon, forcing it to discharge into trooper hammer's eper leg. bleeding profuelsly and in the midst of a very violent struggle, he was able to reach another weapon that he kept nearby and was able to subdue the suspect. trooper hammer was rushed to mary washington university hospital where he underwent
now, that heroism demonstrated by officer kraus and trooper hammer is why i'm supporting a review of and necessary amendments to the virginia line of duty act. so that all qualified first responders and their families receive all the key statutory benefits in their time of need and not later. and i ask you to support that this session. that -- [ applause ] that same spirit of service has also been displayed virginians on the battlefield in foreign lands. since september 11th, 2001, nearly 14,000 members of the virginia national guard have left their families and their jobs to defend freedom. over 230 virginians have given their lives to the service of their country in the global war on terror. on december 18th, the last
convoy of american soldiers left iraq for kuwait. ending nearly nine years of struggle in iraq. now eight days before that, i had the honor of welcoming home over 200 members of the virginia army national guard from the 2nd assault battalion 224th aviation regiment who had been serving in iraq since april. with us here are the battalion's executive officer major karl engstrom and his wife joy. we also have members of that unit, a father and a son who were deployed together. first sergeant kelvin franklin, joined by his wife michelle, and his son, private first class quinton franklin. gentlemen, thank you for your deep commitment to freedom.
the brave men and women who volunteer for the virginia national guard are great patriots, we all know that. that's why i propose that we provide in-state tuition for all members of the virginia national guard, regardless of how long they've lived in virginia. we'll -- [ applause ] we have more veterans than any other state. and with your help this session we'll continue to make this the most veteran-friendly state in america. you serve virginia, we serve
you. we serve all virginians well when we run a wise and frugal government, defend individual liberties and the rule of law, and care more about enacting good policies than making a good quote. simply put, our people want results, not rhetoric. they want solutions and not sound bites. over the past two years i say that's how we have governed together. working across party lines last year we put the most new funding into transportation in a generation. i want to thank the leadership of speaker bill howell in this effort. as a result, over $4 billion in new funding was provided in our six-year highway plan to support road and rail projects across the state. this funding has supported hundreds of projects and the advertisements and award of nearly $2 billion in new funding -- of new contracts in 2011. it's also made possible public-private partnerships like the midtown/downtown tunnel in
hampton roads. the coal fields expressway in southwest virginia. route 58. and the i-95 hov lanes in northern virginia. we've also created together a pathway for awarding 100,000 new degrees over the next 15 years to young people in important disciplines. i want to thank the leaders in this effort, kurt cox and roslyn dance, senator tommy norman. because of their work virginia colleges were able to admit 5,800 additional students this past fall. well done. together we've also created nearly $100 million in new economic development and incentives to promote job creation. companies like accentia, amazon, green mountain coffee roasters, albany industries and amazon are
all coming to virginia. i want to thank lieutenant governor bill bowen, our chief jobs creation officer. delegate gary killgore for their leadership in making this happen. over 56,000 more jobs have been created in virginia since our first full month in office. overseas -- [ applause ] overseas visitors are coming here at a record pace. $321 million in 2011. and i was on hand this past year to open up trade offices and agricultural offices in new deal hee, in mumbai, in shanghai, and in london. to be able to sell virginia products around the world and create more good jobs here at home. our trade missions are getting results. just last month alone, one ship left chesapeake, virginia, and delivered $25 million worth of soybeans to china. two weeks ago, another vessel
began the same journey with another $25 million worth of soybeans to china. from brunswick to beijing, that's how we're going to grow our economy in this global marketplace. i want to thank delegate steve landis in his leadership to gettingny funds to grow agricultural exports and create new jobs. working together, we've eliminated $6 billion in budget shortfalls. not by raising taxes but by reforming government and reducing spending. we turned two massive budget deficits into nearly $1 billion in surpluses during these last two years. and i would say these are all collective, bipartisan accomplishments. virginians charting a fiscally responsible course to a brighter future. but ladies and gentlemen, it's
no time for victory laps. our global economy is still very uncertain. the actions of the federal government are still very unpredictable. the unemployment rate is still unacceptable. this is not a status quo period in the life of americans and virginians. and so i suggest to you this should not be a status quo session for the virginia general assembly. now listen, i can't ask you to fix every problem in the short time that we have together this session. but i can ask you to fix some big ones. we must do more to spur private sector job creation. we must reform our pension system now. so that it will be there for the hundreds of thousands of virginians depending on it. we must make our k-12 education system more accountable and innovative now. so all of our students get a world-class education. we must complete higher education reform and investment now so that more students can get access and afford college.
we must improve our transportation maintenance system now so that citizens can get to their jobs and to their families without delay. and we must pass a fiscally responsible, structurally balanced budget on time that provides the stability and liquidity that we need to navigate the uncertain years that lie ahead. i want to applaud the work of delegate putney and senator stosh and leaders in both parties for proposing much-needed reforms to the budget conference committee process. to facilitate timely decision-making and to reduce drama. thank you. well done. our -- [ applause ] now, i say to you our work together starts with finding
work for 260,000 virginians who are currently unmoment. it is the most pressing issue facing our state. virginians need good-paying private-sector jobs. so this session i'm asking you to invest another $38 million into targeted programs that spur job creation. i propose some state incentives and initiatives for tourism, for film, for agriculture and forestry products, for technology, modelling and simulation, cyber security, international marketing, workforce development, advanced manufacturing, and life sciences. why? because these are proven job and revenue generators for our state. i'm also proposing a new investor tax credit to provide working capital for small businesses. they create 70% of all the new jobs in america. and for an extension of time during which that major business facility job tax credit can be taken. states are competing not just against other states.
but against other countries around the world for jobs. when deciding where to move or where to expand, businesses tell me that they are first and foremost looking for a foremost looking for a well educated and trained workforce. i think we owe every student the opportunity to be career or college ready when they graduate from high school. [ applause ] >> my dad always told me to get a good job, you need a good education and dad was right. i propose an increase of funding for k-12 education of $438 million over the session. but also to increase dollars going to the classroom and hire more teachers in science, technology and math and improve financial literacy and strengthen the diploma programs.
and for the start up of new health science academies in our commonwealth. however, while we put more funding into the k-12 budget, more funding alone does not in and of itself guarantee greater results. over the past decade, total funding for public education in our state has grown 41%. while student enrollment has only increased 6%. so this budget will provide significant new funding, but it will also seek more accountability and more choice and more rigor and more innovation in our school system. i think providing flexibility to school divisions is important. i suggested it is time to repeal the state mandate that school divisions begin their school term after labor day unless they receive a waiver. already 77 of the 132 have the
waivers so the exception has become the rule. i think you can best balance your teaching and calendar needs against the important concerns of the tourism and business leaders. because they know their situations at their locations far better than we know here in richmond. our teachers are well educated professionals who deserve to be treated as much. just like workers in most every other job get reviewed annually and are able to be promoted and rewarded for their success, so, too, should teachers. i am asking we remove the continuing contract status from teachers and principals and provide in its place an annual contract. this will allow us to implement an improved system that really works and give principals a new and much-needed tool to manage
their schools. along with the merit pay pilot program that you helped me fund last year, we will provide more incentives and more accountability to our education system so that we truly can attract the very best and the very brightest to teach our young people. i know you agree we have great teachers in virginia. people like stacy hoffleck. a fourth grade teacher at john adams elementary school in alexandria who was reisn'tly named the national history teacher of the year. i happen to think my sister nancy teaches in amherst county. a pretty darn good teacher. your house majority leader kirk cox, a good teacher. we all know teachers -- mr. speaker, i don't think we can vote in the middle of my speech, can we?
we all know teachers who deserve to be rewarded in the teaching of our young people. we will ensure all young people can read proficiently by the third grade so they're ready to become lifelong learners. social promotions are not acceptable. when we pass the student who cannot read well and is not ready for the next grade, we failed them. our public education system has also embraced some multiple learning venues and opportunities. i agree with president obama that we need to expand charter schools in our country. i'm proposing that we make our laws stronger by requiring a portion of the state and local share of the soq funding to follow the student to an approved charter school and make it easier for new charters to be approved and acquire property to get up and running. i think we need a fair funding formula for the fast growing virtual school sector. i propose that a portion of the state and local share of the soq funding should also follow the
student in this area. and we will implement new regulations for accrediting virtual schools and their teachers to make it easier for this technology to be employed. we should also increase the choices for low-income students and their parents. so i'm asking you this session to provide a tax credit for companies that contribute to an educational scholarship fund to help more of our young people get the education of their choice. [ applause ] >> and i want to thank delegates jimmy massey and others for their leadership this session on that issue. because here's the bottom line. a child's education should not be determined by their geography
or their zip code, but by their god given abilities. that should be the formula for success in virginia. we will also propose innovations for dual enrollment in high school and community college so those students who want to gate head start on their college educations can do so. the goal is pretty simple. that is when you walk across the stage for the high school graduation and you receive that diploma, you should be able to be career ready or college ready. when our students are ready for college, college should be ready for them. the american dream becomes more attainable when there is more access at lower cost to a college degree. our sweeping top jobs education legislation that you all passed unanimously last year, i believe set a visionary blueprint for reform and reinvestment in our colleges and universities. now, we have to put our money where our policy is.
i'm asking you this session to invest over $200 million in new funding for colleges and universities. additionally, i'm proposing a new dynamic funding model for higher education to replace the old base adequacy formula, that ties new funding to achieve the goals approved in the statute last year. institutions will be rewarded based on increasing the number of degrees, particularly in the stem h fields. improving graduation rates, expanding practical research and other factors. it will also require colleges to be more efficient and more accountable themselves by reprioritizing 5% of their current general fund dollars by 2014 to meet those same key policy goals that we approved last year in the statute, such as year-round use of facilities
and greater use of technology to leverage more programs and more courses for our students. these actions all taken together do an important thing, they cement the direct nexus of higher education and job creation. they begin to reverse this unacceptable trend over the last decade. during which the average college tuition in virginia doubled. and i would say to you that parents and students in virginia can no longer afford it. those days of doubling tuitions are over. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, our economy can grow products and people can't move. last year's major transportation construction funding bill was
significant. but a lot more has to be done. we all know that increased fuel efficiency and use of alternative fuels have caused gas tax revenues to decline. a trend that is likely to stay with us. our growing deficit in transportation maintenance is a result. it must be addressed. now, transportation is a core function of government so we have to treat it like one. i'm asking you to increase transportation's share of the year end unassigned surplus to 75%. also, to dedicate the first 1% of our economic growth over 5% to transportation. now, to seriously address the transportation maintenance deficit, i'm also request that you increase the dedication allocation of the state sales tax from .5% to .75% over the next eight years. e